News Release

National LambdaRail and Cisco Systems, Inc. Extend Strategic Relationship to 2013

Cisco and NLR demonstrate commitment to enable and advance networking and scientific research and innovation in the United States
Sep 11, 2006

CYPRESS, Calif. - September 7, 2006 - National LambdaRail (NLR), a consortium of leading U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies, announced today that its has extended its strategic relationship and agreement with Cisco Systems through July 2013. This action helps ensure that the research community has the necessary nationwide infrastructure to develop and implement major research projects into the next decade.

"Cisco Systems has been a major corporate partner of NLR from our infancy," said Tom West, President and CEO of NLR. "This extension speaks volumes about Cisco's commitment to NLR and to the U.S. networking and scientific research community. Together with our member regional optical networks and affiliated projects such as TeraGrid, OptIPuter and UltraScience, we foresee additional, exciting opportunities for our community to incorporate networking into every aspect of science, engineering and humanities research."

"The extension of our strategic relationship with NLR testifies to our mutual belief of the importance of networking research and innovation in the 21st century," noted Joel Bion, Cisco Senior Vice President for Research and Advanced Development. "The agreement with NRL supports Cisco's view of the network as a platform that fuels collaboration in new and interesting ways among academia, government, and industry. This collaboration provides the environment for creative research relationships and experimentation to reach a new level of technology and service-capability development."

The defining characteristic of the NLR infrastructure is its ability to simultaneously support many distinct networks for the U.S. research community using the same core infrastructure. Experimental and production networks exist side-by-side but are physically and operationally separate. Production networks support cutting-edge applications by providing users guaranteed levels of reliability, availability, and performance. At the same time, experimental networks enable the deployment and testing of new networking technologies, providing researchers national-scale test beds without the limitations typically associated with lab simulations and production networks.

The foundation of the NLR infrastructure is a dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM)-based national optical network using Cisco ONS 15808 and 15454 systems, with capacity of 40 and 32 wavelengths per fiber pair respectively. Each wavelength can support transmission at 10 billion bits (or gigabits) per second. Over this optical DWDM network, NLR has also deployed nationwide a very robust switched Ethernet network built on the Catalyst 6509 Series switches. Rounding out NLR's unique set of capabilities and services is the routed IP network built on the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, the core of Cisco's Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture.

The nationwide dark-fiber plant crosses roughly 15,000 route-miles that NLR has obtained through Level 3 Communications and WilTel Communications.

About National LambdaRail

National LambdaRail, Inc. (NLR) is a major initiative of U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies to provide a national scale infrastructure for research and experimentation in networking technologies and applications. NLR puts the control, the power and the promise of experimental network infrastructure in the hands of our nation's scientists and researchers. Visit for more information.